Tunisia calls for removal of travel ban

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Tunisia is encouraging countries such as Japan and the US to lift their travel ban on the country. The US State Department earlier issued various travel advisories to its citizens travelling to the North African country, citing terrorism as the main cause for concern.

But during a visit by the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili to the country, Head of the Tunisian Government Youssef Chahed, said a lot of efforts have been made to improve security for both citizens and visitors through effective deployment of effective security and counter terrorism measures.

UNWTO Secretary general (Left) Zurab Pololikashvili and the Head of Government-Tunisia Youssef Chahed

Tunisia has had to battle scores of terrorist threats and attacks over the past few years in a country which was once a very popular destination for holidaymakers. But Chahed says the country is very safe and is urging the revision of travel advisories.

On his part, Pololikashvili commended the country for taking steps to ensure that tourism development and growth remained a priority and continues to play a pivotal role in the economy of Tunisia.

He mentioned that Tunisia was one of the first countries in the Mediterranean basin to identify the strategic value of tourism development. Tunisia, he said has been able to adapt to different challenges and also seized the opportunity of air connectivity and visa openness in recent years. UNWTO encourages Tunisia to its high visibility in the tourism sector, always against the backdrop of sustainable operations for the benefit of the local population and lasting opportunities emerging from tourism.

This, the UNWTO Boss states is particularly true for tourism as a resilient sector as Tunisia itself is experiencing: international tourist arrivals grew above 23% in 2017. Pololikashvili averred that the UNWTO is committed to supporting sustainable tourism development in Tunisia.

The UNWTO Secretary General is on a two day working visit to the country and being accompanied by Zhu Shanzhong , UNWTO’s Executive Director and Director of Africa Department Ms Elcia Grandcourt.

Click to view the visit in pictures

By: Samuel Obeng Appah

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